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The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - FAQs

The SEISS was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 26 March 2020. The Government has since published further guidance on what the scheme will provide, who is eligible and how to claim.

The scheme provides financial assistance to self-employed workers and members of partnerships who carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme allows eligible applicants to claim taxable grant of 80% of average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500 in total (no more than £2,500 per month). The grant will be paid in one lump sum, covering three months’ income.

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus (this means that the scheme is not open to any> self-employed person);
  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year;
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020;
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021; and
  • your trading profits are no more than £50,000 per annum and at least equal to your non-trading income (meaning that self-employment accounts for at least 50% of your income).

Your trade may have been adversely affected by coronavirus if you are:

  • unable to work because you are ill, shielding, self-isolating or caring for an ill or vulnerable person;
  • in a position that you you have had to cut back or temporarily stop trading due to supply chain interruption, a reduction in customers/clients or because your staff are unable to come to work.

You may meet the above criteria but still not be eligible for the scheme if:

  • you’re above the state aid limits or the grant would take you above the limits (if you trade in the agriculture or aquaculture sector and receive a grant through the European Commission’s temporary framework); or
  • you operate a trade through a trust.

HMRC will calculate your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the last three tax years and then dividing by three.

You should not contact HMRC – they will contact you if you are eligible.

The GOV.UK online service is due to open in mid-May 2020. If you’re eligible, HMRC will contact you and invite you to claim once the online service opens.

You must make the claim yourself – you cannot have your accountant or adviser make the claim for you.

Once you have claimed, you will be told straight away if your claim has been approved.

If you are eligible, you will be able to make a claim from mid-May 2020. If your claim is approved, you should receive your grant in early June 2020.

The scheme is temporary but may be extended.

  • Self-Assessment UTR
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password (or you can create one on the GOV.UK website)
  • Bank account number and sort code

After you have claimed, you must keep a record of:

  • the amount claimed
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

 

Yes, and you will also need to report the grant as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims, and to report this as self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims.

Yes, grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and seeking advice on claiming the SEISS grant, please contact our Employment & Holistic HR team at hannah.roche@mbmcommercial.co.uk

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